A Guide to Kahuzi-Biega National Park – Activities, Attractions

A Guide to Kahuzi-Biega National Park in Congo. The most activity in Kahuzi-Biega National Park is tracking gorillas. other Activities and Attractions in Kahuzi-Biega. Everything You Need to Know About Kahuzi Biega National Park’s Activities, Location, and Size We go on to teach you how to best plan your Gorillas Safari and give packages with a free quotation to organize your Gorilla Trekking Safari to Kahuzi Biega National Park Congo. The Kahuzi-Biega National Park is a protected region in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, near Bukavu. It lies close to the Rwandan border and the western side of Lake Kivu.

The Kahuzi-Biega National Park was founded in 1970 by Belgian photographer and naturalist Adrien Deschryver and is named after two extinct volcanoes inside its boundaries, Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega. Kahuzi-Biega is one of the country’s largest national parks, covering an area of 6,000 square kilometers (2,300 square miles). It is one of the remaining refuges for the uncommon species of Eastern lowland gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri), which is classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List. The park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980 for its unique variety of rainforest environment and Eastern Lowland Gorillas.

Kahuzi-Biega National Park: Gorilla Trekking in DRC

More About Kahuzi-Biega National Park

Located in eastern DRC, on the western bank of Lake Kivu, Kahuzi Biega National Park is around an hour’s drive from Bukavu town. The two dormant volcanoes within the park give it its name. Adrien Deschryver, a Belgian photographer and conservationist, created the park in 1970. In terms of height, the two volcanoes are Mount Kahuzi (3.306 m) and Mount Biega (2,790 m). With an area of 6,000 square kilometers, this national park is one of the largest in Congo.

The rain forest habitat of the lowland gorillas (Gorilla beringei graueri), which are a critically endangered species, and the park’s remarkable biodiversity led to Kahuzi Biega National Park’s 1980 designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is mostly lowland, with a little portion of mountainous terrain.

Kahuzi-Biega National Park, located in the Albertine Rift Valley, is a world-renowned example of natural diversity. It is also one of the most important parks in Africa. There is a distinct change in vegetation type here, from low-land to high-land. Swamps and peat bogs, bamboo forests, high-altitude rainforests, mountain rainforests, subalpine heather, and Senecio kahuzicus, which grows at 2,600 meters on Mount Kahuzi and Biega, are the six main types of vegetation found here.

There are 350 species of birds and 137 species of mammals that call the Parks Mountains, forest floors, marshes, and expansive swamps home. Most visitors to the park come to see the Eastern lowland gorilla. The lowlands and highlands regions of Kahuzi Biega National Park are home to lowland gorillas. Roughly 170 people have been found in the Highlands. Estimating the population of gorillas in the park’s lowlands has proven challenging due to the presence of rebels and militias in these regions.

The park is home to a variety of primates, including blue monkeys, chimpanzees, Dent’s mona, red-tailed monkeys, owl-faced monkeys, and Angolan black monkeys. The park is home to a variety of animals, including bongos, forest hogs, bush buffalo, bush elephants, hylocheres, Maclaud’s horseshoe bats, eastern needle-clawed galagos, and antelope. Some of the mammals that are unique to this region include the gigantic gennet, the aquatic civet, the eastern needle-clawed galago, the Ruwenzori least otter shrew, the Thomas’ tree squirrel, the climbing mice of Mount Kahuzi, the Maclaud’s horseshoe bats, and the Alexander’s bush squirrel. The area is home to a number of rare and endangered bird species, such as the Rockefeller’s sunbird, Shelley’s crimsonwing, Grauer’s broadbill, and Grauer’s warbler.

History About Kahuzi-Biega National Park

While residing in the woods close to Mount Kahuzi in the 1970s, a chief of the Bakanga clan of the Batwa people assisted in the establishment of a border using surveyor’s chains. Without realizing it, he was agreeing to be a cog in the wheel that would ultimately cement his own fate. It took him a while to figure out what was happening before he could explain it to his community. The woodland they had inhabited and safeguarded for millennia had banished him.

Many in the conservation movement spent the last century working to restrict locals’ access to their property on the grounds that humans and environment couldn’t coexist. Fortification conservation, coercive conservation, militaristic conservation, and colonial conservation are modern terms for this concept. Despite a commendable desire to preserve biodiversity and the natural environment, this way of thinking frequently resulted in outside forces coercing locals into creating and overseeing protected zones.

Activities: Things to Do in Kahuzi-Biega National Park

1. Eastern Lowland Gorilla Trekking

Eastern lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park

The Congolese Kahuzi Biega National Park is well-known as a hiking destination for eastern lowland gorillas. Unlike any other kind of gorilla, the Eastern lowland gorilla has a short muzzle, big paws, and a heavy body. Its primary food sources are fruits and various herbaceous plants. Two groups of eastern lowland gorillas have been acclimated to humans for the purpose of gorilla trekking in the Kahuzi Biega National Park. You will not be tracking other gorilla families because they are wild and can threaten humans due to their lack of acclimatization to human presence.

Depending on where the gorillas slept the night before, trekkers in Congo’s Kahuzi Biega National Park take different pathways when they go gorilla trekking. Once you’ve found the gorillas, you’ll get to spend an hour with them; the journey itself can take anywhere from thirty minutes to five hours.

2. Mount Kahuzi & Biega Hiking

On top of hiking with the eastern lowland gorillas, visitors can also climb Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega for spectacular views over the park. These mountains are right in the middle of the park. At an impressive 3308 meters above sea level, Mount Kahuzi and 2790 meters on Mount Biega provide breathtaking views of the Park’s wildlife, neighboring towns and countries, and the abundant bamboo and subalpine vegetation that is home to a wide variety of animals, including birds and owl-faced monkeys.

3. Bird watching in Kahuzi Biega

Kahuzi Biega National Park is an excellent spot for bird watching because it is home to 349 different bird species. Forests, open grasslands, woodlands, hills, open water, marshes, and wetlands all provide excellent birdwatching opportunities. If you’re looking for an area to see some rare birds, the rift valley region is a good bet. You can spot trogons, sunbirds, Ruwenzori turacos, rockefellers, yellow crested helmet-shrikes, and Congo peafowl here.

4. Visiting the Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Center

Dr. Lina visits with her former ‘patients’ at Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Center

The chimpanzee rehabilitation center, Lwiro, is perfectly situated near Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP), the third most important place in the world for preserving the Eastern Chimpanzee. KBNP also offers excellent learning opportunities and outreach programs. Lwiro is home to a porcupine, thirteen different kinds of monkeys and chimpanzees, turtles, and parrots. Poaching and the trafficking in pets have taken a toll on all of them.

How to get to Kahuzi Biega National Park: Map

The headquarters of Kahuzi Biega National Park are located approximately 230 kilometers distant, which is a five-hour drive for visitors coming from the Rwandan side of the Rusizi border. From Kavuma airfield or elsewhere, one can easily arrange to charter a small plane. Enterebbe, Uganda, by means of bar aircraft.

Know Before You Go

Kahuzi-Biega National Park is located in the eastern DRC, close to the town of Bukavu. From Bukavu, you may reach the park by an excellent road; nevertheless, entering the park requires prior authorization. This may only be achieved by contacting Kahuzi-Biega National Park and requesting an invitation letter. Everyone using the park, even locals, must adhere to these protocols for their own safety. In March of 2018, 27 people were kidnapped from the park by members of the Mai-Mai Raia Mutomboki organization. They were fired a few weeks later. Although this event occurred, the security situation in Kahuzi-Biega is still quite tranquil, so tourists can enter after they have been inspected, briefed, and given the proper permit.

Interesting Facts about Kahuzi Biega National Park

  • Only two parks on Earth are home to lowland gorillas, and one of those is Kahuzi-Biega.
  • The Belgian naturalist and photographer Adrien Deschryver, who founded the park in 1970, spent time here habituateding the gorillas as well.
  • The park was named after the two dormant mountains, Mount Kabuzi (3,308 m) and Mount Biega (2,790 m). 6.
  • With a population of around 2,000 lowland garillas, Kahuzi Biega was recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1980.

Best time to Visit Kahuzi Biega National Park

During the dry season, which lasts from May to September, Kahuzi Biega is at its most picturesque. Monthly rainfall is lowest in July and June. Also, you might notice a little dip in temperature throughout these months. The dry spells in January and February are shorter. ‘Peak tourist season’ has not yet come in DRC, so there’s no need to fear about missing out on the throng.

Gorilla Safaris Packages in Kahuzi-Biega National Park

Our Short Congo Gorilla tours are the easiest and shortest way of having a Gorilla trekking safari in Congo. These tours range from 3-4 days and mostly start and end in the neighboring country of Rwanda. 

Specifically for tourists who just want to trek Gorillas in Congo, we have short tour packages. Here are our sample Short Gorilla trekking itineraries from Goma or Rwanda for both mountain Gorilla trekking and for Lowland Gorillas. These tours are basically for Gorilla trekking without visits to other destinations.

We have well-customized packages that offer short Congo Gorilla tours to Virunga National Park for mountain gorilla trekking or to Kahuzi-Biega National Park for Lowland Gorilla trekking. Check out these packages or talk to us for advice on a Short Gorilla Safari in Congo.

3 Days Congo Gorilla tour from Kigali

Congo Gorilla Trekking From Kigali
The cheapest 3 Days Mountain Gorilla trekking safari in Africa. Congo sells the cheapest Gorilla trekking permits in Africa and this gives advantage to travelers who would want to have budget tours.

4 Days Congo Double Gorilla Trekking Safari from Kigali

Double Congo Gorilla Trekking
4 Days Congo Double Gorilla Trekking Safari from Kigali to Virunga National Park. Double Gorilla trekking means trekking 2 different Gorilla families on the second and third day which offers chance to know more about the different Mountain.

3 Days Congo Lowland Gorilla Trekking Safari

Congo Lowland Gorilla Trekking
3 Days Congo Lowland Gorilla Trekking Safari for a less strenuous Gorilla trekking tour in Congo. This 3 Day Lowland Gorilla trek is a short itinerary that offers Great experiences trekking the Lowland Gorillas of the Kahuzi Biega

4 Days Lowland Gorilla Trekking Congo

4 Days Lowland Gorilla Trekking
4 Days Lowland Gorilla Trekking Congo offers less strenuous Gorilla trekking tour experiences in Congo. A short Congo Gorilla safari itinerary that offers great experiences trekking the Lowland Gorillas of the Kahuzi Biega National Park.

Gorilla Families in Kahuzi Biega National Park

  • Mpungwe Gorilla Family
    Among the habituated gorilla families in the park, is the largest. Because of their tendency to congregate in big groups, hikers most often encounter members of the lowland gorilla family. The Mpungwe gorilla family consists of twenty-one individuals.
  • Chimanuka Gorilla Family
    The fascinating members of this gorilla family make trekking with them an entertaining experience, say trekkers. The 19-member Chimanuka gorilla family is named for the dominating silverback that heads the group.
  • Nganwa Gorilla Family
    You are not yet allowed to go gorilla trekking with this family because they are in the habituation process. Ten members make up the family.
  • Bonnani Gorilla Family
    The bonnani family of lowland gorillas is the smallest in the Congo. A family of recently habituated gorillas, the Bonnani have five members.

Threats Faced By Kahuzi Biega National Park

The ecological values of Kahuzi Biega National Park have been greatly endangered due to armed militias in the park’s lowlands, as well as other threats such as bushmeat hunting, illicit mining, and the clearance of trees for cultivation within the park. This has led to inadequate park administration, the jeopardization of emblematic mammal species, and the compromise of the safety of conservation professionals. The Congolese army (FARDC) and the International Criminal Court (ICCN) enhanced park security in 2023 by eradicating armed rebel groups from approximately two-thirds of the park and stepping up anti-poaching initiatives.

Dismantling active mines is being done by a surveillance patrol in an effort to fight illegal mining. Persistent and robust law enforcement measures are necessary to prevent mining from taking place in the future. This is because the entire property is not under surveillance, and there is a possibility that insecurity will persist. To combat the expansion of illegal farming communities, 90% of the farmers in the ecological corridor between the low- and high-altitude regions have been ordered to leave their homes. Nevertheless, the region must be rehabilitated and the effects of this danger must be evaluated.

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